Archives of histology and cytology

Novel use of bovine zeta-crystallin as a conformational DNA probe to characterize a phase transition zone and terminally differentiating fiber cells in the adult canine ocular lens.

PMID 11757907


Using a novel immunocytochemical staining method, we aimed to characterize the phase transition zone (PTZ) (approximatly 100 microm) in adult ocular lenses and the process of terminal differentiation (denucleation) within normal fiber cells. The binding to DNA of zeta-(zeta) crystallin (Z-DNA-binding protein) and anti-double-stranded (ds-)-B-DNA antibody probes was found to decline gradually throughout denucleating fibers, with a precipitous decrease occurring at about 100 microm (PTZ). Nuclei of superficial fiber cells (in front of the PTZ) showed the highest DNA probe-binding values, followed by middle fibers (MF) and deep fibers (DF). With the use of zeta-crystallin, anti-ds-B-DNA antibody, and anti-single stranded (ss-) DNA antibody probes, it was possible to reveal a loss of reactivity of fiber cell ds-DNA. Ss-DNA antibody binding was seen initially in the MF and reached its highest intensity level in the DF. The pattern of zeta-crystallin probe-DNA reactivity correlates with the loss of anti-B-DNA antibody staining and decreased eosin-protein staining. These data suggest that a reorganization of DNA and intracellular protein supramolecular order in normal adult lenses occurs at a depth of about 100 microm (PTZ).